This little tale is something of a nod to C. S. Lewis (ala The Screwtape Letters). It presents a tongue-in-cheek picture of creation using uncommon but not unheard of theologies. I take a little liberty with them to prompt fresh thinking on a controversial topic.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He made a perfect creation, separating good light from the darkness. However, Satan started messing with things as soon as he saw what was happening.
God created life, but Satan inflicted pain and death. As often as new life was born, it would age, get sick and die. On top of that he incited violence so all life would be at odds, even eating each other. And he warped the physical world to bring more destruction, raining injury and death in many, many more ways. He couldn’t completely destroy God’s creation, but he could mar it.
Satan was so proud of himself that he decided to vacation, and so went off for awhile, leaving one of his demons in charge of the process. After a brief few billion years, Satan returned only to find all sorts of beautiful new life. What was once home to a few simple plants and a few slow-moving sea animals, was now teeming with untold variety on land and sea. And in the air, beautiful birds flew in a bright blue sky.
Satan whacked Demon upside the head.
“What’s going on here? You were supposed to reign death and destruction on this place.”
“I did! Every time something was born, I’d make sure it died. But it seemed like the more cycles of birth and death there were, the more complex and wonderful everything became. I just don’t get it!”
“Great! I go away for a few billion years and leave things in your hands, and what happens? God somehow takes what we meant for bad and pulls something good out of it. Man, I hate it when that happens!”
Satan peered intently at the miserable figure.
“Did you try everything I gave you?”
“Yes! Disease, weather, volcanoes, earthquakes. Conflict and violence. I used ‘em all.”
“How about the big stuff, like asteroids?”
“Oh yes. Several times I managed to wipe out nearly all life, but He always brought it back stronger than before. Somehow, whenever I’d kill off parts of a group, He’d make sure the best survived. Sort of like that “remnant” idea of His.”
“Humph!” Satan glowered. “Always keeping the best for Himself. Seems so unfair.”
“Well, He did create it all…” Demon muttered under its breath.
“What did you say?” Satan belched. “Whose side are you on, anyway?”
Seeking to change the topic, Demon pointed to the earth below. “Look what He’s doing now!”
Satan looked down and saw something new. In the midst of a pristine garden, God had just breathed spiritual life into the pinnacle of His creative process. He then created a companion for that first man, and gave them freedom to live in the garden.
Satan raged at this turn of events. “Aargh! This is terrible! Another spiritual force on His side. Won’t He ever quit? We have to do something about this.”
“Can’t we just continue with death and destruction like before?”
“Not this time, not with them made in His image and all. This calls for something a little more eternal, if you know what I mean…” Satan narrowed his eyes as he watched the couple in the garden. “I’m going to have to go down there and take care of this myself.”
So Satan visited man and woman in the garden where God had formed them, and stealthily drew them out of God’s will. If Satan couldn’t kill them outright, at least he could make sure they didn’t spend eternity with God. After this nasty work, Satan stepped back to admire his handiwork.
“There, at least they won’t enjoy being eternal.”
“Nice job boss. He sure isn’t going to be happy about this.”
God looked upon the havoc that Satan had wrought. Another very good creation of His marred by the ruler of this world. Looking at the world with love, He decided it was time to set things right, once and for all. He would have to go down there and take care of this Himself.
So He did, and the Word became flesh.